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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Thinking beyond just the Internet - news and media

I've been asked today to put down my thoughts for a 2030 Vision for our region so it can feature in a "future news newspaper article". I had to point out that newspapers won't exist then! And then, this landed....

Here is a fine example of what is already happening in news and media and that must be, of course, worrying for the likes of Monsieur Murdoch, BBC et al.

It's a mashup of the footage of Gordon Brown's speech yesterday with the tweets from the #bbdf hashtag as subtitles. Kudos to Martin Hawksey @mhawksey for putting it together.

It highlights some issues for next gen media.

1. With all their ginormous budgets, we have not seen any of the mainstream media (AFAIK) put together something like this yet. And yet, it is precisely what people are looking for, particularly when it comes to key issues that affect us. So, double kudos to grassroots for JFDI!

2. The closest mainstream media have probably come to this (again AFAIK) is when Question Time permitted text/SMS comments to be sent in during the programme and could be viewed on Ceefax. Now, that was some years ago and as I can't get Ceefax etc to work properly since the digital switchover, I don't know if it still happens. But, those SMS were tightly monitored and controlled. This example shows what happens when all comments from a specific hashtag are put in, AS THEY APPEARED in real time. The box cannot now be shut. This is the way things will continually go from now on. Control has been removed. The people have the voice that GB went on to speak about, and media and Govt need to get used to it.

3. Mashing together the VT and the comments from another channel (in this case Twitter) gives a brilliant multi-channel experience for those who want to access it. Media are going to have to start doing this or they will find people grabbing the output from their TV and chucking it in near real-time on the Net, mashed together with other online channels. Perhaps this is one reason why there is so much 'fear' about symmetrical pipes? Or am I just being cynical?! I know damned well that if we could all run our own servers from home, life would get really rather exciting.

4. Accountability - all of a sudden, having to phone in to A N Other complaints service and be given the run around and left to feel you could well be the only person complaining about a certain issue would vanish. Now, you can not only see that other people are complaining, but you can contact them directly and create a pressure group, louder voice etc. Now, today, whilst it is bugging you. And them. And that will make anyone featured in a TV programme accountable. Be they a goverment minister, a journalist, a programme producer, a company, a council etc. Now, personally, I think this can only be a "good thing" because it means that no-one can claim they didn't realise what their constituents, customers, viewers, electorate, etc thought on the issue.

Media has to change. Whilst certain content producers are protecting their so-called invaluable copyright, others are turning it into TRULY valuable content. You can hide your content from others by putting it behind pay walls, you can control the voices of your viewers by only reading out certain texts or emails, or you can do this sort of thing and face the music, work with the feedback, create better TV, policies, products etc.

Because if you don't, it won't be long before we do it for you!!

The point here is that the reason to want fat pipes is is not about ever higher definition TV that we lean back on our sofas and watch, nor 3D, nor more and more on demand programming. It is about INTERACTIVITY and consumer content creation. It has to be upstream as well as down. You have to become less possessive of your content and allow the consumer to consume and create.

Just because someone isn't wearing a BBC/Hollywood/Fleet Street suit, getting a BBC/Hollywood/Fleet Street wage, and spending some of the BBC licence fee/Hollywood style/Fleet Street budgets, doesn't mean they aren't going to create something immensely valuable, highly compelling to watch, and beyond what anyone else had up to date imagined. We are only going to see more of it, and it will leave present day media behind if they don't adapt.

1 comment:

Huw @ NetStrategics said...

I agree - the days of central control are numbered. With TV sets having internet access built in, the browser takes over from the EPG and we can access whatever video we want direct from the content producers without BBC, Sky or whoever getting in the way. Say goodbye to channels full of Poirot- if I really want to watch that I can go get it whenever I like.